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Kew Gardens

  • Attractions
  • Kew
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Waterlilies House
    Waterlilies House
  2. Winter at Kew © A.McRobb
    Winter at Kew © A.McRobb
  3. Summer at Kew © A.McRobb
    Summer at Kew © A.McRobb
  4. Autumn at Kew
    Autumn at Kew

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Exotic flowers, wild meadows and a walk among the treetops in leafy west London

There’s an impressive 250 years (and counting) of history in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, but they’re also paving the way for the future with not one, but two national bases for research into botanical studies. While you’re strolling through the Victorian Palm House or seeking out the luscious flora (including the giant, stinking Titan Arum in the Princess of Wales Conservatory), scientists are working away in offices and laboratories behind the scenes. 

Nowadays the Gardens stand at a whopping 300 acres, but they started out a little more humbly in the back yard of what was once the royal palace – favoured most by George III. There’s loads to see here, whether you like green stuff or not. The grand Victorian glasshouses remain a favourite with visitors, one of which (Temperate House) holds the record for the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse. And if you want to explore elsewhere? Why not take a trip to the Treetop Walkway. At 18 metres high, this trek through the leaves offers fab views of the grounds.

Once you’ve come back to earth, stroll down to the Chinese Pagoda, which was built in 1762 and towers over the southern end of the Gardens.

Given the exceptional upkeep and wide variety of fauna, you’re sure to be inspired. And if the plants aren’t doing the trick, try seeking out the sculptures, which feature Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Mother and Child’ in a stunning setting that changes with the light of each season. In fact, the art alone could take up your entire visit – see the Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture ‘A Maximis Ad Minima’ and visit the Marianne North Gallery and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, all included in the main entry price.

Whenever you visit Kew Gardens, there’s something in bloom. Even in autumn or winter, you can be assured you won’t just see a lot of old twigs.

Written by
Laura Lee Davies


Royal Botanic Gardens
Tube: Kew Gardens/Kew Bridge rail
Opening hours:
April 1-Aug 31 Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat, Sun and bank holidays 10am-8pm; Sep 1-30 daily 10am-7pm; Oct 1-28 daily 10am-6pm; Oct 29-Nov 13, daily 10am-4pm; Nov 14-Jan 7, daily, 10am-3pm; Jan 8-31, 10am-4pm; Feb 1-29, daily 10am-5pm; Mar 1-31, daily 10am-6pm. Closed Dec 24 and 25. (Last entry 30 minutes before closing, some attractions close earlier, check on arrival.)
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Interactive, games-inspired and outdoor activities all accompanied by a loveable TV puppy? There aren’t many things that sound like more fun than that, and if it sounds like it’d be right up your kids’ street, you better head to Kew. Bluey, the loveable Blue Heeler doggo from the synonymous TV show, will be joining the Easter fun at London’s most famous botanical gardens, for a big old celebration of nature with some episode-inspired games, activities and interactive 3D installations – there’s even the chance to meet him at intervals each day!

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